In my line of work, corporate celebrations, conferences and awards ceremonies are commonplace and each one is completely different. However, when I received a request to run a workshop at the First Response Finance Health and Wellbeing Event late last year, I jumped at the opportunity as I had never done anything like it before. 

Mental health and wellbeing is not only intrinsic to happiness, which of course is paramount, but it is vital for productivity and efficiency in the workplace. This is something First Response Finance, whose Head Office is in Nottingham, recognised and they invited me to be part of a series of ‘Health and Wellbeing Event’ days they were hosting for employees.

A Meeting was Set

I had met the company’s New Business Operations Director, Matt Dickie, during a wedding I’d performed at, at Colwick Hall the previous year. He kept my card with the intention of inviting me to perform at a business conference however, he then had other ideas.

We met in Nottingham and discussed the possibility of me tailoring a bespoke performance in which I could take some of the techniques I use in mentalism and mind reading and teach them to small groups. Naturally, the skills I taught would need to be relevant for their industry and before we’d even finished the meeting, I had numerous ideas of what I could do.

We settled on two wellbeing event workshop sessions: one at their offices in Leigh and the other in Nottingham. They had asked if I was able to travel to their Glasgow offices, but I had a prior commitment.

Teaching the staff how to spot ‘Poker Tells’

The Workshops

The first workshop came around so quickly and I was excited at the prospect of delivering something entirely new. The day was going to be split, with me delivering the workshop three times to small groups. This would work best for delivery, teaching practical techniques and answering questions.

I explained at the start of each session that my segment was part workshop and part performance, which would help give the team an insight into what I did and welcome them into my mentalism world. Only once they were feeling relaxed and settled would I teach them skills they could add to their own professional toolkit.

Throughout my performance, I involved as many of the participants as I could and they soon became an excellent audience, with some forgetting it was meant to be a training day.

When it came to teaching techniques, I’d chosen psychological tells. This was to be a simple 50/50 task of one person placing a coin in their right or left hand and their partner reading their ‘tells’ (which are not too different to poker tells) in order to identify the correct location. To make this a little more entertaining, I taught two different techniques to see who did better and interestingly, it was always the second group!

The people-reading skills I taught were designed to help the team with customer relations and team dynamics and seemed to be a success.

As well as mentalism, the day involved a series of yoga sessions, gong baths, art therapy, drumming, cooking demonstrations and healthy food.

It was wonderful to observe team dynamics and the benefits of these types of exercises on the mind, body and soul.

Photo of the Wellbeing Event Board that was on display throughout the day.
The event was fantastically well organised by Matt Dickie

What They Said…

“Ace, fantastic, insane, amazing, entertaining, eye opening and fun. Not to mention a great education on how to read people! Best part of the day by far!”

Matt Dickie – New Business Operations Director

If you are looking to open up your business doors soon, why not welcome staff back with a unique workshop to help them return to a business mindset.

Contact me today  to learn more about my employee engagement workshops. All performances can be undertaken effectively from a distance, while still managing to bring the room together.

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